lighting trends

Modern and Contemporary Style 101

What exactly defines modern lighting often varies from person to person. But there are a few general tenets that many people can agree on: clean lines, simplicity, functionality, innovation and often the use of chrome or other metals. Of course, modern design is sometimes all about breaking the rules. Some modern lighting looks more like a sculpture and has many different intricate elements. Some modern lighting breaks the fixture down to little more than the very basic pieces: base, stem, bulb. Some modern lighting is monochromatic while other fixtures are explosions of color.Modern and Contemporary Lighting

Modern design actually harkens all the way back to the 1930s, to the times of Frank Lloyd Wright and his guiding philosophy of form follows function. However, modern is an enduring style of décor and is still very popular all these years later because of those above tenets, especially the idea of innovation. If you’re thinking of adding modern lighting fixtures to your home, they will fit in well if much of your décor is already clean and contemporary. You can also find modern lights to suit any illumination need you have, big or small!

Ceiling Lights

Sure, you can get modern ceiling lights that are basically naught but bulbs inside a simple glass dome. Those could be perfect for your room. But modern ceiling lights also include ones that are studded with ‘bling,’ remixes of the chandelier, gold puffs of aluminum, collections of orbs shaped like molecules and more! For flush or semi-flush applications, modern ceiling lights provide a great source of ambient light.


Many modern chandeliers are typified by clean lines and the use of metals, but they tend to look at least somewhat similar to their more traditional brethren. However, some of them break the rules and create innovative new silhouettes—like the block of dazzling crystals that makes up the Schonbek Quantum, the dual-layered George Kovacs Counter Weights or this thoroughly unique Elk Lighting Nimbus.


Modern pendant lights are available in all sizes and shapes. Many of them make the light bulbs a central part of the fixture, like the Sonneman Orb collection. Elk Lighting offers a huge variety of colorful modern pendants, including these Lava pendants, to suit a contemporary space. Then there’s the subset of modern pendants that are thoroughly inventive, such as the Fredrick Ramond Karma.

Modern Bathroom Lighting


Modern wall sconces are a great way to boost up the lighting in a room and keep the décor theme going. Simplicity reigns when it comes to many modern sconces: a metallic finish, a bulb in frosted glass and that is it. For example, the Quoizel Uptown Chelsea sconce or Kenroy Home Nova both follow this theme. But if you want some more ornate and decorative modern sconces, check out the offerings from Corbett Lighting.


Clean and functional, modern lamps make the perfect addition to a room in need of more accent or task lighting. Look, for example, at this tidy and slick Hudson Valley Delano lamp or the ringed Quoizel Brock. But some lamps add pops of color to your room, like the neon orange Sonneman Tetra.

Modern Brands

If modern design style speaks to you, some brands to look for in lighting include George Kovacs, Access Lighting, Varaluz, Sonneman and Fredrick Ramond, although many other brands also offer some modern styles as well.


Browse our large selection of modern lighting and, if you need more help finding your new favorite modern piece, call 1-866-688-3562 to speak to our trained lighting specialists!

Emma Harger - Lights Online

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